Monday, June 26, 2017

Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland - OPTIONAL

Howland, Leila Hello, Sunshine, 358 pages.  Hyperion, 2017.  $18.  Language: R (50+ swears, 25+ ‘f’); Mature Content: PG-13 (off page sex, body parts); Violence: G.

As her long-time boyfriend drops Becca off for her new life in LA, he also dumps her – right at the curb.  Not the way Becca thought her one year to a new life would start.  Instead of living with her aunt in safe Pasadena, she takes a risk and moves into a dingy apartment in Hollywood.  Since her life is falling apart, she is determined to put herself in a place where she has a chance of making it.  Following the advice of a self-help book, Becca makes her list and slowly starts crossing off items.  She finds a couple of friends in her complex, hits the street with determination and some head shots and finds a day job at a diner ruled by a thankless head waitress.  Small steps and setbacks come in succession.  Then comes that point when Becca has to decide – is it finally time to call it quits?  Perhaps it is.

While Howland makes some parts of Becca’s life a little easier than reality (and why shouldn’t she), she still very adroitly weaves a real-feeling tale of making a go of it in Hollywood, without venturing into the unbelievable.  I found that I liked Becca and her friends very much and wanted her to be happy more than anything else.  Howland’s work is a cut above.

HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

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